Fatih Birol

“Germany and the rest of Europe are paying the price for decades of dependency on a single supplier.”

(Photo: AP)

Davos European gas storage facilities are full, prices are falling and Germany is bringing new liquefied gas terminals online in record time. Many business representatives are relieved that the energy crisis has supposedly been averted. But one does not want to join the general optimism: the economist Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency (IEA). In the Handelsblatt interview, he explains why it’s too early to give the go-ahead, why liquefied gas might be in short supply, and what all this has to do with China.

Mr. Birol, the feared power shortage has not happened. Will the mild winter save the European economy?
We will suffer social and economic scars. But for this winter, we’ll probably be free. I am worried about the coming winter.

Why?
For many reasons. To fill the reservoirs we used 60 billion cubic meters of natural gas last year Russia imported. We will have to replenish this amount this year.

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